BASPCAN congress 2018
The theme for this year’s BASPCAN congress was Thinking Outside the Box: innovative perspectives on protecting children and young people.
The major international congress brought together practitioners, survivors of abuse, researchers, trainers and policymakers with the aim that all groups could learn from each other and reflect and consider how to improve services to support families and protect children and young people.
EduCare’s Pastoral Care expert, Dawn Jotham, attended the event and reported on the key trends, issues and opportunities for Child Protection professionals.
“For me, the main messages from BASPCAN’s congress addressed the core principle that whether you work as an academic, or volunteer at a charity, lessons learnt, serious case reviews, advice and best practice guidance should always focus around the needs of the child, young person or vulnerable adult. How we then get updated information and guidance delivered to front line staff is something we should be constantly developing.“Academics should feel they are in touch with day-to-day practice, and those that are working directly with children should feel they have a connection with those researching. This connection can easily be lost which means that research is not easily translated into practice.
“Unfortunately, changes in practice have in the past been strongly been influenced by tragic events, such as the events leading up to the death of Victoria Climbie in 2000, Peter Connelly in 2008 and Daniel Pelka in 2012. They have been reactive rather than proactive.
“But there can be no doubt that most people that work or volunteer directly with children are trying to support and act in a way that meets the need of that child and family, so the more they can access information that will support them in the role the better. The complexities and changing circumstances that professionals are met with every day are immense, a point brought to light by Dr Irene Stevens. Dr Stevens spoke about how that it is impossible to fully predict behaviours, for example, a change in mentor, a missed appointment can result in a change in behaviours and therefore outcomes.
“Those working on a day-to-day basis should feel they have the required tools to support the vulnerable families they work with. Training should be relevant and up to date and in doing so will assist professionals; this will then support interventions and subsequently will help influence outcomes for the child and surrounding family. Continuous professional development that professionals and volunteers receive is paramount.
“Due to major cutbacks in spending, and in some sectors staffing, the amount of time allocated to training has been more restricted. Face-to-face training is often restricted to a certain number of key staff which means that developing online training that is informative, current and interactive is a way that research can be translated into day to day practice.”
EduCare’s range of online child Protection courses
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